Saturday 15 April 2023
11.00 - 13.00
Västra Hamngatan 25 AK2 134
Thomas M. Adams :
Welfare Management and Early Social Science (1500-1850)
Today the formulation and analysis of welfare policy is a major field of social science inquiry, drawing on an array of social sciences, from welfare economics to social psychology. This paper argues that questions relating to charity and welfare in the early modern period have played a significant role ... (Show more)
Today the formulation and analysis of welfare policy is a major field of social science inquiry, drawing on an array of social sciences, from welfare economics to social psychology. This paper argues that questions relating to charity and welfare in the early modern period have played a significant role in the evolution of the very idea of a social science and in the construction of its theories and practices. A key locus of this dynamic is to be found in the administration of charitable institutions, notably the running of hospitals and the management of poor relief in parishes, towns, and kingdoms. An economic impulse has come from the accounting of expenses in institutions of charity and welfare, a sociological impulse has come from the description and categorization of those served by such institutions, and a psychological impulse has come from efforts to shape the behavior of those who occupy places in institutions, freely or under constraint. Medicine and hygiene have played a significant role in the domain of charity and welfare, enhancing the function of institutions as social observatories. (Show less)
Sorcha Clarke :
"Take this distressing case into your humane consideration & please to grant him some aid:" Petitioning the Drapers Company Estate, 1850-1900
The voices of the poor in nineteenth-century Ireland are overwhelmingly unheard, marginalised and disregarded. This goes hand-in-hand with images of the poor as an inert, downtrodden mass who displayed little to no agency which prevailed throughout Irish historiography for many years. However, recent work has done much to challenge this ... (Show more)
The voices of the poor in nineteenth-century Ireland are overwhelmingly unheard, marginalised and disregarded. This goes hand-in-hand with images of the poor as an inert, downtrodden mass who displayed little to no agency which prevailed throughout Irish historiography for many years. However, recent work has done much to challenge this view. It has emphasised the extent to which they made themselves heard as they navigated the expanding Irish philanthropic landscape during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Virginia Crossman and Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s discoveries of substantial collections of begging letters sent to the Mansion House Fund in the 1880s and the Archbishop of Dublin between 1920-1940, along with Elaine Farrell’s work on female convict letters, has certainly led the way in this respect. However, the experience of the poor in Ireland’s northernmost province, Ulster, has received much less consideration.
This paper will present petitions for aid received by the Drapers Company Estate in County Londonderry from 1850-1900. As a markedly benevolent administration, a broad spectrum of its tenants sent letters of request during times of need. This ranged from widows and families to the sick, elderly and even orphaned children. The focus will be on these requests, and on analysis of the factors which tenants identified as the main causes of their poverty, and what they subsequently petitioned for. The versatility of methods more commonly seen in the social sciences, and how they can be transferred to other disciplines, will also be demonstrated. NVivo software, a powerful tool for qualitative and mixed methods research, is used for non-biased and standardised analysis of data in a variety of forms. It is currently under-utilised in historical research, but has been used here to dissect and draw out the key themes contained within the Drapers letters. Crucially, as a novel methodology for Irish history, it allows for a deeper dive into these petitions which, as first-hand accounts, provide us with a vital window into individual, lived experiences of poverty and allow us to intensively foreground the voices of the poor in rural Ulster. (Show less)
Triona Fitton :
The Subversive Moral Economy of the ‘Gift’ in the 21st Century Charity Shop
There is a small pool of literature on charity shops, predominantly focused on the UK although there work on US and Canadian thrift stores (eg. Mitchell, Montgomery, & Rauch, 2009) and in Australia (eg. Podkalicka & Meese, 2012). UK studies have examined topics such as shop donor decision making, shop ... (Show more)
There is a small pool of literature on charity shops, predominantly focused on the UK although there work on US and Canadian thrift stores (eg. Mitchell, Montgomery, & Rauch, 2009) and in Australia (eg. Podkalicka & Meese, 2012). UK studies have examined topics such as shop donor decision making, shop location planning, the charity shop as part of the ‘alternative economy’, merchandise diversity and volunteer management. A small pool of research, conducted in the early 2000s, has specifically examined how ‘professionalisation’, particularly the rise of bureaucracy, monitoring and other methods attributed to the private or public sectors, is on the rise in charity shops (Goodall, 2002; Gregson, Brooks & Crewe, 2002; Parsons, 2002, Broadbridge & Parsons, 2002, 2003a, 2003b), despite these shops being (presumably) situated within the voluntary sector.
This paper presents a new avenue of research that examines the way processes of the public and private spheres intersect within the charity shop space. Based on an ethnographic case study of two contemporary charity shops, two phenomena were identified that further explore this peculiar intersection. There were the processes of ‘Gifts in Kind’, and ‘Retail Gift Aid’, the former being predominantly en-masse donations directly from (private) retailers, and the latter being a state-designated tax relief charity shops may claim on the money earned from donations of physical items.
This work explores the ways these two conceptions of ‘the Gift’ are mobilised, using the work of Marcel Mauss (1954), Jacques Derrida (1992) and Georges Bataille (1988) to question whether a ‘gift’ within the charity shop is truly a gift at all.
The findings indicate that the way contemporary charity shops operate reflects the wider ‘hybridisation’ of the voluntary sector, demonstrating co-existing yet “alien principles drawn from the public and private sectors” (Billis.: 60). They also indicate how British charity shops represent a difficult pairing of values – that of charity or goodwill with the need to make profit and exploit resources – which is mitigated by adopting techniques and informal partnerships with both the state and the private sphere. The findings draw attention to how charity shops and the ‘gifts’ within them have changed over time, in response to the economic crisis and other pressures. (Show less)
Angela Schwarz :
Almshouses in Hamburg
In my lecture I'd like to give an overview on the evolution on the “Stiftungen für Freiwohnungen”, as the almshouses are named in Hamburg, their astonishing development in the course of the 19th century up to the 1930s and the extraordinarily contribution of Jews to this phenomenon. I could count ... (Show more)
In my lecture I'd like to give an overview on the evolution on the “Stiftungen für Freiwohnungen”, as the almshouses are named in Hamburg, their astonishing development in the course of the 19th century up to the 1930s and the extraordinarily contribution of Jews to this phenomenon. I could count the highest level of almshouses with a total of 77 institutions in 1933, offering accomodation for around 4.800 persons in 108 buildings. These private foundations offered very cheap or free residential options to beware the residents from getting homeless. Even today, impressive buildings characterise certain parts of the city and still offer cheap flats, following the old tradition.
Housing shortage accompanied the development of the city on its limited area since the Middle ages, but due to the population explosion in 19th century, the situation deteriorated dramatically. The negative symptoms of lack of housing, exorbitant rents and property speculation accompanied the urbanisation in the emerging metropolis of Hamburg and formed the local nucleus of the social question.
Hamburg’s republican self-government traditionally culturated a concept of Citizenship, which established a personal bond of belonging between the individual and the state. Complex legal structures gave authority, political and economic rights and privileges only to a small elite of Lutheran merchants and jurists. The mass of the population only had little or no rights in a system of levels. On the other hand these republican traditions brought forth ethics of personal civic responsibility for the well-being of the community and the hardships in the society. Civic-minded charity and philanthropy had always been valued highly and the political and economic leading men have been the protagonists of the welfare institutions and foundations. This formed a pronounced tradition, leading to the still valid title of “Capital of foundations”.
An astonishing fact has been the disproportional high contribution of Jews toward earning Hamburg this title, especially in those for rent-free flats. The Jewish share became outstanding with around 35 % in the 1930s, at a population share of only about 1.7 % (20.000 persons) at that time. The remarkable upturn started in the beginning of the 19th Century, when the Jewish Community of Hamburg has been the biggest in Germany with more than 6 % of the population (6.500 persons), but lived in underprivileged conditions. At that time some Jewish merchants became successful in trade and against all odds and restrictions one of them reactivated the since 150 years dormant tradition of founding rent-free flats, brought in innovative elements and ultimately motivated dozens of following founders. A combination of Jewish social ethics, Hamburg tradition and a deep bond to their hometown has been responsible for the extraordinarily activity in founding of the Jews.
Under Nationalsocialist regiment this welfare tradition has been cut and came to its tragic end: the buildings became the last living place for lots of Jewish people before their deportation and murdering in the concentration camps. Today the “Stolpersteine” laid in front of the former foundations remain on the killed residents. (Show less)